A Patriot

I spell the word with a capital letter. A Patriot to me has always been a person worthy of the highest praise, possessed of the highest virtues.

Until yesterday, when I saw the title of a photograph in an exhibition that I visited with my daughter. It was one of a series of photographs depicting the “unite the right” rally in Charlottesville, USA. The picture was of a bearded older man in camouflage, clutching a rifle with a sort of blank fervour in his eyes.

I am conservative, a white male (oh dear!) with, I hope, a modicum of balance and perspective. But I didn’t like that label, nor could I criticise it. I talked with my daughter, a teacher, about it. I mentioned that I had once written about the need for the institution of learning about the cardinal virtues and the need for iconic models for our youth and that my view had been criticised. What virtues could beat Courage, Prudence, Temperance and Justice, as proposed by St Thomas Aquinas?

courage  temperance prudence (2) justice for one side

She responded obliquely in the way of the New Age; not contradicting but offering a different viewpoint. She felt that diversity was the key and that inclusiveness and tolerance would yield a good basis for future societal foundations. I felt my gorge rise with hot words of … watering down values and standards to reach a common denominator that would suit all which would not be a standard at all, which was the fault of liberal democracy and… and …  

But I stifled them, stumped by the thought that she was probably right and that I was a dinosaur, out of time and that my steam would be obsolete and silly.

Anyway Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao Ze Dong, Pol Pot and Robert Mugabe were probably Patriots too!

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Murphy’s Law No 147(b)

If you have a puncture while cycling, it will be in the proximity of the furthest point from home.          

Being  a disciplined thinker, I didn’t invoke any special inference the last time I had a puncture just after I turned to go home and had to walk 2 miles to get there. However, it seemed more than coincidence when I had a puncture yesterday, just 100 metres from where I turned to go home. This time it was a 4 mile walk.

Maybe next time it will be 8 miles from home… except that I am going to carry one of those puncture fix kits from now on!

black schnauzerJust as well for that bit of reverse fortune, as the black dog had slunk in for a sombre lurk and the enforced march cleared the air; black dogs don’t like competition, so it slunk off!

I think it slipped in with my tax return. This is my 4th year of involuntary unemployment, so I have little to distract the taxman with. That doesn’t make completion of the form any easier! One would think that by now the Revenue dudes would have worked out an idiot proof format so that any dummy could complete a return…

But… wait… maybe they did … and my brain has atrophied to super-idiot size…!  See how easily the black dog slinks in? Its the government’s fault and I don’t have a vote even though I do pay tax…. rage can get the endorphins flowing nearly as well as exercise!

My consolation is that I have time to enjoy the birds making their nests and write mimosawonderful books about myself and sniff the subtle anisescent of the spring flowering mimosa on the wattle trees.

photoOf great joy right now is the bright colours of my nasturtiums, which are nearly my favourite flowers now, especially as they are entirely edible: flowers, leaves and seeds

Hmmm… maybe I should be finding a new project to distract me – this design by IKEA caught my eye:

ikea-flat-pack-garden.jpg

It’s a flat-pack garden farm of the future – I have the plans if anyone wants to build one: all you need is a saw, hammer and a screwdriver.

Or maybe this is more your style? ikea garden

Whatever – the point is that we all need to start growing our own vegetables…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once, twice, three times a lady!

My sister, who is a Sistah if you know what I mean, takes offence at the usage of the fwmale powerword lady, to wit: The common use of lady referring to woman is pretentious, bourgeoise, obsequious, euphemious, ignorant and incorrect.  

That statement of facts is a perception, not factual, and is contentious.

Dictionary.com states the origin of the word woman was Old English wīfman, equivalent to wīf female + man

language: a feminist guide states ‘lady’ was the female analogue of ‘lord’, and it can still be a title for the wife or daughter of an aristocrat. But it has undergone a process known as ‘semantic derogation’, where the female term in a male-female pair gets downgraded in status. ‘Lady’ was initially downgraded to apply to bourgeois women as well as aristocrats. Later, it became a polite way to refer to a woman of any social class.

Usage in society changed: formerly ‘woman’ was regarded as demeaning and ‘lady’ was the term of courtesy; now ‘woman’ is the designation preferred by some modern female adults. The word ‘lady has been perceived as a classist tool to divide society.

I remain divided. When I use the word ‘lady’, I do not intend it to convey disrespecwomen are already strongt for a female. However, I would not be respectful if I persisted in addressing my Sistah as a lady, so I will avoid doing so; but I reject her right to require me to do so generically to all women.

That is my choice.

Emily Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward wrote in 1873: Burn up the corsets! … No, nor do you save the whalebones, you will never need whalebones again. Make a bonfire of the cruel steels that have lorded it over your thorax and abdomens for so many years and heave a sigh of relief, for your emancipation I assure you, from this moment has begun.

downloadI can’t fault her viewpoint and admire her radical standpoint. Women are in no way inferior beings and I wholeheartedly support their rights to equal treatment and demands for the removal of impediments to so50 fiftycial, economic and political and any other type of equality they seek.

Womens’ struggle against centuries of cultural domination is justified.

Most men educated in the European norm agree, I am sure. Not sure about African, Arab or Asian men, though.

I did continue but in retrospect, discerned that what I wrote was not respectful, so I cut it out.

cartoon

 

Am I special?

This guy writes a lot of stuff that I think. I don’t think we are specialthough… but sometimes maybe wannabe?

Ends and Beginnings

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”― Henry David Thoreau

I would consider myself a disciple of HDT (sorry to all you JC followers). I have spent my entire life wondering if I am special or ifI am living my life in “quiet desperation” as Henry David described.Honestly, I think the later.

I will make the natural assumption that to a handful of people I am “special”, tomy wife (most days), my children (all days), my…

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Giving Thanks

These are my thoughts too – better written by you!

Ends and Beginnings

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” –  Tecumseh

It’s easy sometimes to overlook everything that we have to be thankful for. We are quick to get bogged down in the minutiae of living, what we classify as an ordinary and dull existence. We simply take the life we have for granted. We compare it to the post we see from our “friends” on Facebook. But we forget that they are only showing us the good parts. There are people all over the world, and in our own backyard, that would trade our boring lives for the life they are experiencing and living right at this moment.

In Chattanooga, TN., five children were killed in…

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